Television: Elementary, "The Ballad of Lady Frances"


Lady Frances is a guitar.

An expensive, vintage guitar.

That gets stolen.

And the person from whom it was taken sends a hitman after the thief. Which is where our episode begins: A hitman threatening and shooting a man, demanding the return of Lady Frances. We have a moment of anxiety, thinking someone has been kidnapped. But no. It's a guitar.

At which point we think, Oh, yeah, that was in the preview.

Then there's this whole thing about a new technology that, like Siri, is always listening, waiting for the moment you need her it. (My Siri is a man, anyway, and he addresses me as Miss Kitty Boo. TMI?) Anyway, for the purposes of our story, this technology listens for the sound of gunfire and reports/records whatever is happening in the vicinity of said gunfire. Like, the entire city is bugged? I guess? Seems like there would be too much "noise" to get clear audio, but the glory of television is that they can pretend that's not an issue. And that somehow all of NYC has been mic'd up.

In a stupid coincidence, the guy monitoring this particular altercation regarding Lady Frances is a guitar enthusiast and edits the audio before passing it on so that he can go retrieve the well-known-in-certain-circles instrument. But then he ends up dead, too. And of course it all turns out to be a corrupt politician. How original.

Oh, and Meat Loaf was the guy who had the guitar and hired the hitman. I mean, he wasn't playing himself or anything. He had the decidedly Teutonic name of Herman Wolf. But if you did steal a guitar from Meat Loaf, it's not difficult to imagine he might at least send someone to break your knees. So that's good casting. Though I really enjoyed Mark Boone Junior as the guitar expert. Put him in more stuff, would you?

And now we must address the Shinwell story line. Sigh. I wasn't paying super close attention, but it seems like someone shot at him? And it turned out to be the same gun (based on ballistics) that had been used to kill a gang friend of his back before he went to jail? I'd say I'm trying hard to care, but no. I'm really not, and I really don't. I was way more interested in the idea of Holmes redecorating the townhouse. I wanted to see the wallpaper choices!

Still, I noticed while watching there was something off about this episode. The script was fine, I guess, but something about the way it was filmed . . . I actually asked aloud, "Did they let the intern shoot this?" Specifically the scene where the guitar enthusiast-turned-thief was addressing an unseen person and then is murdered—it was just so ham-handed. Really clumsy. Maybe that was the script's fault, though, because it required keeping one character out of the frame or silhouetted. I dunno. Did not feel right.

All in all, kind of an odd episode but not terrible.

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